I’ve been thumbing through my recipe repertoire, looking for a few of my brother’s favorites to share. He has been in my heart (always) and my thoughts – especially of late with what should have been his 61st birthday just around the corner. I miss him at my table, even if he was a pain to cook for with all his picky dislikes. There will always been certain foods that I cook and when I do, he will fill the room with his presence. In my heart, I can see his face, with that twinkle of mischief in his dark brown eyes and a warm smile that lights up the room.
One of his favorite “comfort” suppers is Smoked Sausage and Fried Potatoes with a side of corn. When he lived with us, I tried to make this once a week because I knew it was something he would eat. Since my baby brother went be with our mother, I don’t make it nearly as often. Yet whenever I do, Kiddo says “Uncle Jimbo’s favorite.” And we smile.
In our house, we’ve always put food on the table in the same order – vegetables at one end, (to my right), with potatoes (rice or what have you) at the other end, and the meat or main dish in the middle. Hubby usually has seconds of meat and potato servings, while I like a second helping of veggies. When my baby brother came to live with us for a while, his end of the table just happened to be the end with the vegetables – green beans, squash, asparagus, wilted spinach – the good stuff. He would take his place at the dinner table, survey the evening’s offerings and then ask the same question “How come you always put the yucky stuff by me?” His question always got the same reply from Kiddo “She’s hoping maybe you’ll take the hint and eat something green.” My brother would wrinkle his nose, let out a big laugh and pass his plate down to the far end of the table so Hubby could load him up with a big helping of starch and meat. You can see why Smoked Sausage and Fried Potatoes with a side of corn was one of his favorite meals. No “yucky” stuff on the entire table.
Smoked Sausage & Fried Potato Skillet Dinner
3 Packages Hillshire Farms Smoked Beef Sausage, coin cut
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
6-8 Medium Size Red or Russet Potatoes (about 1 ½ – 2 lbs) cut into thin slices
Onion Powder to taste (about a tablespoon)
Plenty of Salt & Pepper to Taste
A dash or two of Paprika for color
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter with olive oil. Wash the potatoes and slice into thin slices.
Sauté potatoes, stirring to coat the slices with the warm butter and oil. Season with onion powder, salt, pepper and a dash or two of paprika. Add a little water, cover and allow potatoes to “steam” fry with a well-fitted lid until almost soft, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent over-browning.
Remove cover, add sausage and continue to cook until nicely browned, 8-10 minutes longer, turning as necessary to prevent burning.
As far as Brother Dear was concerned, this meal wasn’t complete without some buttery corn straight from the can . . .
Buttery Canned Corn
1 Can Corn, well-drained
¼ Cup butter
Kosher Salt to taste
Drain corn and rinse well to remove any of the packing liquid.
Place corn in a saucepan over low heat until all liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
Add butter, increase heat to medium. When butter melts, stir into corn. Season with a pinch of kosher salt. Continue to heat until corn is hot, about 5-10 minutes. Transfer corn to serving bowl and serve.
To my baby brother – I love you every day!